Can low Iron be slowing your Thryoid?

Can low Iron be slowing your Thryoid?

 If you’ve already read my post on ‘Iron, the Women’s Essential Nutrient’ and ‘Iron Pathology’  then this will start to make more sense if you have found yourself to be low in Iron and feel it’s your thyroid despite being told you are fine.

Iron is intricately involved with Thyroid hormones, in fact, dependant on the mineral, bottom line, low Iron, low Thyroid despite having a Thyroid condition. 

Having low Iron affects the production of the Thyroid hormone in several ways:

  1. In the Thyroid gland where T4 is made an enzyme called Thyroid Peroxidase enzyme (TPO) depends on Iron to work. So, if there is not enough Iron, the production of T4 will be reduced.  Now you are familiar with how easy it is to be low in Iron, it can make you wonder if your hypothyroid symptoms are not due to an iron deficiency.  This enzyme’s antibody, TPOab is tested for the diagnosis of Hashimotos.
  1. There are enzymes all through the body and brain called Diodinases, de-iodin-ase and they break an iodine molecule from T4 down and convert it into T3. These enzymes depend on Iron to be able to work. The ratio that we like this to happen is a 3:1, ie 3x T4 to 1x T3.  Having low iron may be one of the few reasons that there is poor conversion. 
  1. When the body detects there is low iron in the blood, it increases the amount of T4 that is changed into Reverse T3 (RT3) which is the opposite of active T3, this will slow you down and cause fatigue.
  1. Iron is an important part of the mechanism that transports thyroid hormone into cells and lack of it can lead to pooling of hormone. This can lead to being hypothyroid even though there are normal T3 levels and it produces a thyroxine resistance situation.

Because of the dependence of Iron for the conversion of T4 to T3, some symptoms may worsen if you are put on Thyroxine and the underlying Iron deficiency has not been addressed – that’s like revving the accelerator on the taxi when there is no gas.  Symptoms may be anxiety, palpitations, or irregular heartbeats.

Ironically being hypothyroid may in return cause a lack of Iron because when we are low in thyroid hormones we lack the ability to have good digestion, and tend to have low stomach acid or more susceptible to Immune diseases like being Celiac.

Dysphagia is a term that means difficulty in swallowing.  A frequent need to clear the throat, particularly when under stress, is a classic sign of possible low thyroid activity and low iron status.

Women who experience heavy menstruation can become iron-deplete and therefore create a hypothyroid state.

Ferritin deficiency is the primary cause of hair loss in premenopausal women, and it’s often why women with Hashimotos continue to lose hair despite normal thyroid levels.

As you have read, Iron is extremely important, so make it a priority to have your levels assessed on a regular basis.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness



Vitamin D, are you getting enough?

Vitamin D, are you getting enough?

Bbbrrrrr, the Winter Solstice has just passed.

However there is still plenty of wild winter weather to come before we can really enjoy fresh-air activities in full daylight before and after work and so our Vitamin D levels may be suffering. There is an average drop of Vitamin D levels across Australia of about 23% (20 nmol/L) from Summer to Winter, with about 28% in Perth. 1

For those of you under 50 years old who had regular sun exposure last summer, there is good news, you have the ability to produce and store about 6 months worth of Vitamin D to get through this winter. 2

We often hear about the Sun providing Vitamin D, but what about foods? Only about 5% – 10% can be obtained from food 1 which is mainly found in fortified margarine, fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and eggs.2

Vitamin D must be converted by the liver to Calcidiol then into the active hormone primarily in the kidney, to Calcitriol. Vitamin D is referred to a hormone because it is processed in one area and then travels to exert its’effect in another.

The major function of Vitamin D is to maintain calcium levels by getting the small intestine to absorb calcium from the diet.2

However more recently it has been discovered that there is a Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) in every cell that houses a nucleus (DNA) which has the ability to convert Calcidiol to Cacitriol. This has promising outcomes with Auto-Immune disorders such as Hashimotos.1

In immunity, Vitamin D inhibits the Type 1 helper cells (Th1 cells) and enhances Type 2 helper cells (Th2 cells) creating a positive anti-inflammatory effect. It also decreases Type 2 helper cells (Th17) cells which are found in higher proportions in Hashimotos Thyroiditis. 3

In a study (2015) in Poland, perhaps a first for a low sunlight country, Vitamin D was assessed in those with Hashimotos Thyroiditis . The outcome was they had had a lower Vitamin D level than the controls in the same country.

It remains unclear if low levels of Vitmain D are a causative factor of Hashimotos or a result of the disease. 3 Although in an earlier study (2013) that compared Hashimotos patients on Levothyroxine with newly diagnosed Hashimotos patients, it was found that the lower levels of deficiency correlated with the duration of Hashimotos disease, thyroid volume and antibody levels. 5

In another recent study (May 2016) in India of 100 people showed that Vitamin D supplementation in therapeutic doses is associated with a big reduction in Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO-Ab titers) in patients with Auto-Immune Thyroid Disease. After three months of Vitamin D and Calcium supplementation there resulted in a decrease of antibodies by greater than 25% in over half in the group.4

So how much sun? To produce about 10,000 IU a day it is recommended that 15% of the body – hands, arms and face be exposed to sunlight.1 In Perth Summer, from December to January at 10am or 2pm for 5-6 mins. Deliberate sun exposure between 10am and 2pm is not advised during summer. In the Winter, July to August at Midday for 15 minutes.1

When you are covering up for Summer, it is good to know that UVB does not travel through glass or clothing and sunscreens.  Cloud cover reduces exposure by half and shade by 60%.1

The best blood test for Vitamin D levels is Serum 25[OH)D] as it covers both dietary and skin absorbed sources.2 and is the major circulating and storage form of Vitamin D1.

The optimum result to preventing chronic disease is ≥ 75 nmol/L.

A staggering 37% of requests to Clinipath Pathology in Australia shows deficiency.

Adequate for Bone health is ≥50 nmol/L but levels will need to be higher at the beginning of winter to allow for the natural decline by 10-20 nmol/L.

Moderate to Severe deficiency is regarded as <30 nmol/L.1

The names Vitamin D are referred to can be confusing. Cholecalciferol D3 Obtained through Sun Exposure2

Ergocalciferol       D2 Obtained through Food 2

Calciferol               D3 & D2 Combined

Calcidiol                 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OD)H] Converted from D3 in the Liver1

Calcitriol                1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] Made in the Kidneys from Calcidiol1

Medicare in Australia has now restricted it’s Vitamin D benefit of 25 hydroxyvitamin D, quantification in serum, for the investigation of a patient who:6

(a) has signs or symptoms of osteoporosis or osteomalacia; or

(b) has increased alkaline phosphatase and otherwise normal liver function tests; or

(c) has hyperparathyroidism, hypo- or hypercalcaemia, or hypophosphataemia; or

(d) is suffering from malabsorption (for example, because the patient has cystic fibrosis, short bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or untreated coeliac disease, or has had bariatric surgery); or

(e) has deeply pigmented skin, or chronic and severe lack of sun exposure for cultural, medical, occupational or residential reasons; or

(f) is taking medication known to decrease 25OH-D levels (for example, anticonvulsants); or

(g) has chronic renal failure or is a renal transplant recipient; or

(h) is less than 16 years of age and has signs or symptoms of rickets; or

(i) is an infant whose mother has established vitamin D deficiency; or

(j) is a exclusively breastfed baby and has at least one other risk factor mentioned in a paragraph in this item; or

(k) has a sibling who is less than 16 years of age and has vitamin D deficiency

So even it you have to pay for it, it is worth getting your Vitamin D levels checked.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness








1. Clinipath Pathology (2014) SONIC Pathology Handbook

2. A guide to the interpretation of pathology tests Australia: The Buckner Group







Belly fat can be a sign of high Oestrogen

Belly fat can be a sign of high Oestrogen

“I’ve put on weight”

“I can’t lose the weight around my belly.”

It is a vicious cycle. A low thyroid function will allow you to put on the belly fat, and the belly fat in turn will encourages low thyroid hormone

Oh my gosh, what chance do I have, I hear you ask???

You have a great opportunity to stop the cycle and here’s how……… but first, I need to explain a couple of things and will keep it as simple as possible, because really, you just want to lose the belly fat, right?
The big player here is Oestrogen. To make it slightly more complicated, Oestrogen is sub-divided into three types.

E1, E2 and E3.

The one that’s causing the problem with the belly fat is E1 (Oestrone). Fat cells make this stuff by a process called aromatase. The more fat, the more making of E1. This is great for menopause (after periods stop in a woman), but if you aren’t there yet, it is not good because you should already making plenty of E2 (Oestrodial) from your ovaries during your monthly cycle.

In this one scenario, two different things happen that stop the thyroid hormone from working
The E1 can bind to the thyroid receptors – therefore blocking thyroid hormone.

The belly fat also produces Thyroid-binding globulin – a carrier protein that takes the thyroid hormone around the body, however excess amounts will bind to free thyroid hormones and prevent them from being active.
So not only do you ‘feel fat,’ but you feel sluggish because thyroid receptors not able to accept thyroid hormone and you have lost your ‘mojo.’ Add to this scenario you are now producing more Oestrogen because of the production of E1 via the belly fat and the normal amounts of E2 via the ovaries and we are start to move into the subject about Oestrogen dominance.

From Oestrogen dominance more things affect the thyroid function
Inactive thyroid hormone, Thyroxine T4 can’t change into the active from Triiodothyronine T3 – which is the hormone you want plenty of!

The production of Reverse T3, (rT3) goes up. Reverse T3 is a mirror image of the active T3 hormone and binds to the same receptor. It stops that in its’ tracks and makes it inactive.

Normally some Reverse T3 is good, it is the natural way that Thyroid hormone self regulates. Incidentally this goes way up during stress, so that is why stress kills the thyroid function.

To make it more interesting, it is not just your body that makes these oestrogens, but the environment – man made that is – that is also throwing extra Oestrogens at you on a daily basis and these are called Xeno-Oestrogens. Without being too technical, they are Pesticides, Plastics, Petroleum products & synthetic hormones (OCP & HRT)

Where is this stuff found? Well, pretty well everywhere and in your food, so while you are living you are being exposed in one form or another, which is not really what you want to hear.

What can you do about it? Find out where your Oestrogens are. I strongly recommend a salivary female hormone test for every woman. The hormones free float in the saliva and are not bound by carrier proteins as in the blood. It is a simple saliva test in one little vial when you get up in the morning and you are done. It is best to do it on Day 21 for women still having periods and it doesn’t matter what day for women not having periods.
A saliva test is a simple and easy way to test your Oestrogens.

If you’d like to know more about this or other topics, you are welcome to join my free membership on face book. Thyroid, Metabolic, Hormone Harmony Hub. 

I’d love to see you there

Inspiring Wellness





Sanesco NCAP Technical Guide (2014) Sanesco International Inc, Asheveille, NC 28804
Suzy Cohen RPh 2014Thyroid Healthy (1st Ed) Dear Pharmacist Inc, USA,
David Brownstein MD 2014 Overcoming Thyroid Disorders (3rdEd) Medical Alternative Press, West Bloomfield, MI 48323
Igor Tabrizian Dr Lecture Notes in Nutritional Medicine, Lecture 5, Introductory Course, NRS Publications Educations Series

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